Do-It-For-Me vs. Do-It-Yourself: An Emerging Trend

The digital revolution has empowered people to do things they never had the necessary tools to accomplish on their own from becoming a citizen journalist (cell phone cameras and social media) to turning their car into a taxi cab (Uber) or even turning their house into a hotel (Airbnb).

Of course, radio has not been immune from this revolution as people share playlists (Spotify), customize their traffic reports (Waze) and turn their laptops into broadcast studios (podcasts).

However, this empowerment, which enables anyone to do anything regardless of talent or access to capital, comes not just at an opportunity cost, but quality can also suffer.

As comedian Jerry Seinfeld famously said, “We have a giant garbage can called YouTube for user-generated content.” Before continuing, “show business is for talent, that’s who should be in it.” Real estate agents facing Zillow, attorneys upended by LegalZoom and travel agents displaced by Travelocity would likely agree.

In addition to questionable quality standards, these digitally enabled labors of love often don’t produce much in the way of economic benefit for the individuals involved. For every blogger that strikes it rich, thousands are posting in complete obscurity. When it comes to music, in this age of artists forgoing labels to get their music out, we’ve all seen the widely circulated report that 1% of musicians earn 77% of the money.

In this self service world, retailers like Sears are finding an opportunity with the Do It For Me crowd. As it turns out, not everyone wants to spend their weekend watching how-to videos on You Tube and sifting through online product reviews only to end up with a final result that looks like it was a do it yourself project.

While Lowe’s (Let’s Build Something Together) and Home Depot (More Saving. More Doing) battle it out for the weekend warriors, Sears (House Experts for Homeowners) is taking an alternate approach. According to a story in AdAge last week, “Sears is targeting consumers who want experts to handle their home-improvement projects.”

More Money Than Time

Last year, Sears and its sister company K-Mart closed 234 under performing locations, having lost money in 12 consecutive quarters. Despite the difficult operating environment, Sears remains a major player in both appliance sales and repairs and sees this opportunity as a major initiative that can help end the losing streak.

According to Chip Smith a marketing executive with Sears, “There is a lot of room in the marketplace for do-it-for-me. We want to be that trusted resource for consumers.”

When it comes to audio entertainment, radio is that trusted resource. As an industry, the best members of our audience are working adults, aged 35-44. These are the people with household income levels coveted by advertisers, but also the least likely to have time to cultivate their own playlists due to work and family demands.

At the same time, stations have the opportunity to professionally cultivate playlists that extend their brand beyond the on-air signal and continue to be that “trusted resource” that digital audio platforms like Pandora and SiriusXM are striving to be. Especially when members of your audience are in a specific mood such as working out or hosting a backyard cookout.

Although your personalities aren’t picking the music, they can still be front and center and further differentiate radio from digital audio platforms that are modern jukeboxes, with one noteworthy exception, jukebox companies like TouchTunes actually make money.

There are plenty of other ways to super serve those who matter most to your ratings and revenue. The first step is to get to know them by name. Anonymous audience data has become a thing of the past, which is why Audience Management is a key part of every DMR/Interactive campaign.

For more insights on how to customize your approach to engaging your Super Fans, send us an email to schedule a confidential review of your current efforts.

Thanks for reading. – Andrew

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